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OKC Thunder announce COVID requirements for fans

The policy will be in effect for the first 12 games of the preseason and continue into the regular season's start.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder fans will be required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to attend games in person, the NBA franchise announced Tuesday, Sept. 21. 

The policy will be in effect for the first 12 games of the preseason and continue into the regular season's start. 

Fans are also strongly recommended to wear masks while attending games. 

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 484 new virus cases and a seven-day average of 1,834 new cases daily, down from a seven-day average of 2,114 new daily cases one week ago, the AP reports. 

Oklahoma Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) accused the Oklahoma City Thunder and its management team of "pushing an agenda of fear" with the new COVID-19 fan policies. 

"If the Oklahoma City Thunder and their leadership are unwilling to revise this policy, we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits granted to them by the state when they first moved here under the Quality Jobs Act," Roberts said. 

Many Republicans in Oklahoma, including Gov. Kevin Stitt, have been openly against private companies or local governments requiring COVID-19 immunization to enter events. 

Oklahoma is among the states hit hardest during July and August's surge of COVID-19 brought on by the highly contagious delta variant.